CIDFlyer
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Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:44 pm

Just curious if US would ever expand in the midwest? Or are the content with UA handling their flying via code share? There are alot of decent sized smaller/mid sized airports in the center of the country that could stand to gain some service. Personally I would love to see them at CID since we lost NW with the DL merger. Other places that come to mind are MSN, PIA, SGF, ICT, FSD, GRB, MLI, CMI, etc. Even places like DSM, OMA and OKC which do have US seem to have minial service at best and none to east coast hubs like PHL or CLT. Or does the lack of a midwest hub really prevent this...Thoughts?
 
flyby519
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:54 pm

Just my opinion, but I think PHL is too constrained to support long thin routes to the midwest. Maybe some RJs from CLT to do the job, but I would imagine the carriers with midwest hubs (DL, AA, UA) would be more competitive in schedules/pricing.

If US was truly concerned about serving the midwest then maybe they would look towards F9 for a merger to gain some traction through the MKE/MCI hubs.

[Edited 2011-11-13 08:56:09]
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OzarkD9S
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:54 pm

Quoting CIDFlyer (Thread starter):


Or does the lack of a midwest hub really prevent this...Thoughts?

Bingo. Back in the mid 90's US was kicking the tires at TWA (as did most carriers at the time, even VJ/FL). Most of the aforementioned markets would have come with a US/TW combo. Access to those markets are provided by the UA/US code share now. Even if US jumped ship to oneworld, as is often speculated here, the resulting alliance with AA would cover those markets.
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:59 pm

ICT has had an interesting history with HP/US. ICT was one of the four original cities (COS, LAX, MCI, and ICT) when HP started service from PHX on August 1, 1983 with 3 737s. HP continued to operate to ICT until after it became US. A few months ago US dropped ICT service.
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:02 pm

OKC no longer has US service. They quit the OKC-PHX market a few years ago. I would really like to see US do OKC-PHX again, as well as OKC-CLT, but it seems they don't like to compete with WN, at least on the PHX run.

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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:17 pm

US had several Mid-West hubs in the '90s

Dayton, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Columbus, Kansas CIty and if you want to stretch out the Mid-West to mean the rust belt then obviously Pittsburgh was there largest hub at one time. The Mid-West is a tricky market, US and B6 especially have had a rough time of it in the heartland.
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GVROYphx
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:32 pm

Yeh...they'll expand in the midwest. When they become American Airlines!
 
skyguyB727
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:41 pm

Years ago, US had twice daily, DC-9 service GRB-MKE-PIT.
 
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:52 pm

So should I start the "Well F9 is for sale. That would give US access to the Midwest" war of words here?   


I remember when US had a hub at IND. Then after cutting back service it just gate squatted in the D concourse of the old terminal. The old US hanger at IND is now being used by FX last time I went by there. I also think the only reason US still has a decent presence at IND is because of the Rjet HQ and MX there. I am really surprised it has any following in the city at all.
 
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:04 pm

I doubt US would choose to expand in the Midwest currently. Chicage, obviously the jewel, and Detroit are taken and there is not a serious contender among the other possibilities based on market size and economics.

In ten years as the Midwest transforms itself into a more economically dynamic area (you can already see this happening), US might well want to make a move, assuming it is still an independent carrier. They might even find PIT attractive again.
 
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:17 pm

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 4):
OKC no longer has US service. They quit the OKC-PHX market a few years ago. I would really like to see US do OKC-PHX again, as well as OKC-CLT, but it seems they don't like to compete with WN, at least on the PHX run.

I would love to see CLT-OKC, but I think the odds of that happening are probably low. I cannot get access to the BTS statistics because this computer can't handle CSVs (long story) but I would think there is probably enough demand to fill a CR2 or CR7, yes?
 
CIDFlyer
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:09 pm

too bad something never materialized with US/TW. I think STL would have still been a hub today, and would have balanced out the network pretty good with PHX out west STL in the middle, PHL in the NE and CLT in the SE. US did have token presence in many of those midwest cities I mentioned at first via MCI they could have built on that by shifting to STL as there was a loyal following for TWA around here. Heck CID even had ERJ serivce to PIT back in 2000-2001.

I always wonder too if maybe DL completely pulled out of CVG if that would be a better postioned midwest hub for US since its farther west than PIT was. I never understood the notion of PIT serving as a midwest hub, it just seems too far east.
 
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:17 pm

Yeah, US is kinda of an unbalanced airline IMO. I mean, they are doing a lot of things correctly and have come a far way since a few years ago when "they were the one to fail" and were "the ugly stepchild airline" or whatever. But with hubs in PHL, CLT, DCA, and PHX, there are some big holes in their map. Again, they are able to operate profitably with only these hubs, but I think they could go great leaps and bounds with another hub. Question is, where? Can MCI support a hub like the good ol days of... uh, I forgot who hubbed there a while back but I know someone did. Will AA pull back enough at STL and even then, would WN put up a huge fight there? Will CVG ever die for DL, and is that far enough away from their other hubs to not be redundant? See, I think US would love a mid-west hub, but there is nowhere really viable without starting a huge war, which isn't really necessary since they're profitable now. Wait 5-10 years and see what the industry looks like then. Then again, everyone is saying they'll merge with AA so who knows...
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:18 pm

How much of HP is even left inside of US? Other than the PHX hub, but even that is not as big, seems many HP destinations and flights have been eliminated. Why is it that East Coast or Mid West carriers buy or merge with West Coast carriers only to dismantle them.

Also it seems any carriers mid west hubs have failed, EA TW BN and more at MCI & STL.... I guess just because it's not DFW, IAH or ORD?
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flyby519
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:36 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 13):
Also it seems any carriers mid west hubs have failed, EA TW BN and more at MCI & STL.... I guess just because it's not DFW, IAH or ORD?

DFW/IAH/ORD are surrounded by some of the most populated metro areas in the country. I think that is more of the reason for success/failure for hubs in general, and explains why MCI and STL havent worked (CVG and MEM arent working well for DL and will be the next casualties in my opinion).
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:47 pm

Quoting flyby519 (Reply 14):
Quoting flyby519 (Reply 14):
(CVG and MEM arent working well for DL and will be the next casualties in my opinion).

I have to agree 100% Too bad as well, CVG & MEM are great places to connect, I used both instead of the larger hub cities when possible. Definatly enjoyed taking the DL M11's PDX-CVG and connect onwards, sigh...
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flyguy89
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:05 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 13):

Also it seems any carriers mid west hubs have failed, EA TW BN and more at MCI & STL.... I guess just because it's not DFW, IAH or ORD?

I wouldn't go that far. STL didn't really fail TW, rather STL became irrelevant after TW merged with AA. MCI...yeah I suppose you could make the case, many carriers have hubbed there and been unsuccessful. But MSP and DTW are both very successful midwest hubs. I'd say CVG was as well for the role it served with pre-merger Delta....but like STL, the merger made it irrelevant.
 
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:49 pm

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 16):
I wouldn't go that far. STL didn't really fail TW, rather STL became irrelevant after TW merged with AA.
Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 16):
I'd say CVG was as well for the role it served with pre-merger Delta....but like STL, the merger made it irrelevant.

I disagree. I think those hubs were the only decent sized airports that were geographically ideal that those airlines could get their hands on that were left over after IAH, DFW, ORD, MSP, etc were taken. Once they had them, they made do and maintained a tolken presence in that part of country against their competitors. Kinda like asking the fat girl to the prom cause she was only one left. But after mergers and these reshifts, they got what they wanted (for DL better hubs at MSP and DTW) and AA the elimination of capacity and therefore got out of STL. Agree STL didn't fail TWA but it by no means was ever ideal for them, same with CVG and DL.
 
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:29 pm

It may be true that US Airways lacks a midwest presence....but, as you may know, that has not always been the case for USAir/US Airways and America West.

USAir once tried a semi-hub at Kansas City with nonstop service to almost all major markets in the US (IND, LAS, LAX, MCO, LGA, SAN, SFO, SEA, SEA, DCA plus all of the then-current US hubs) and even had a large USAir Express commuter operation operated by Air Midwest. And, as another poster commented, it also had mini-hubs in CLE, CMH and a full-fledged hub in DAY as a result of the Piedmont Airlines acquisition.

Furthermore, America West, in the early days, made it a point to serve many of the smaller-sized midwestern cities. America West once had mainline jet service to cities like Cedar Rapids, Moline, Des Moines, Omaha, Sioux City, Lincoln, Wichita and Springfield (MO).

For example, here is a 1987 route map for America West:

http://www.departedflights.com/HP111587.html

Over the years, both the original USAir and America West slowly shut down those operations. (Of course this was all well before the introduction of RJs.)

Whether or not today's US Airways decided to re-open such cities is unknown. However, it is for sure, both USAir and America West DID, at one time, have much more extensive midwestern routes.
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ouboy79
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:47 pm

US Airways' midwest hub dreams seem to have died once IND was shut down for good. They've eliminated many Midwest and Great Plains markets over the years and haven't really indicated any desire to go back. It would probably take a regional operator to setup shop and establish a code-share with US for anything to really get going. The other down side...there aren't many markets left to pick. IND is lost. MKE is too full. MDW/ORD are packed. STL is dominated by Southwest now - though may have an opportunity. MCI has never worked and is dominated by Southwest...they really need to redo their terminals once and for all. DEN is packed. DFW is a no-go. So that takes you down to the second tier markets like OKC, OMA, and AUS. They already ran from OKC once. OMA is probably tapped out. AUS is too far south.
 
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:09 am

Quoting deltaflyertoo (Reply 17):
I disagree. I think those hubs were the only decent sized airports that were geographically ideal that those airlines could get their hands on that were left over after IAH, DFW, ORD, MSP, etc were taken. Once they had them, they made do and maintained a tolken presence in that part of country against their competitors.

I'll agree having midwestern hubs in mid-sized cities was not 'ideal', and of course they would have preferred the likes of DFW and ORD, but they didn't just 'make due' with a token presence. CVG at it's peak solidly rivaled UA or AA in ORD (domestically that is) in network breadth and coverage with a not insignificant portfolio of international flights. STL was much the same, peaking at over 500 daily flights with multiple daily non-stops to Europe and Hawaii, again not what I would call a token presence. My overall point is that none of these hubs abjectly failed. I can only think of MCI where, multiple times, airlines have hubbed there and failed, but the likes of STL, CVG or MEM served their network roles well for their airlines until the mega-mergers made them redundant.
 
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:50 am

additonally STL, like Chicago, had somewhat of a history for being a transportation hub, first for the railroad and then the airlines (Ozark, TWA, AA). STL is still a pretty good sized market, I think its probably similar to MSP in size, although demographics are not as well as MSP. Places like MEM, CVG etc seem more artifically propped up by the airlines than STL ever was. STL being a transportation hub goes way back, Im still sorry to see it vanish from the importancy of the airlines
 
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:19 am

This brings up a valid question, that I'm not able to understand fully, why has MCI never succeded as a hub for any carrier? It's almost exactly in the middle of the country, it's never been over utilized for facilities. Was it just it's size and lack of significant O & D traffic? WN seems to be do nicely, the non-stop to and from PDX is almost always full when I'm on it. Is MCI only able to work well as an LCC market?
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point2point
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:31 am

Quoting lows (Reply 10):
I would love to see CLT-OKC, but I think the odds of that happening are probably low. I cannot get access to the BTS statistics because this computer can't handle CSVs (long story) but I would think there is probably enough demand to fill a CR2 or CR7, yes?

T-100 Q3 (high quarter) show total traffic between the two cities as 40 passengers per day, and Q1 (low quarter) shows the count at 35. Hardly enough to fill even a small RJ, I have to say.

Anyway, here is the site, and use Table 6. Lots of info there about these things.

http://ostpxweb.dot.gov/aviation/x-5...le_files/consumerairfarereport.htm

If you have a .pdf or excel spreadsheet application, maybe your computer can handle this.
 
PI767
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:46 am

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 22):
This brings up a valid question, that I'm not able to understand fully, why has MCI never succeded as a hub for any carrier? It's almost exactly in the middle of the country, it's never been over utilized for facilities. Was it just it's size and lack of significant O & D traffic? SA)">WN seems to be do nicely, the non-stop to and from PDX is almost always full when I'm on it. Is MCI only able to work well as an LCC market?

This has been the topic of so many threads on anet.... (not to fault you, as the "search" function on anet is less than optimal).

The general consensus has always been the lack of local O and D traffic, the poor security set-up, and the fact that so many cross-country flights are already better served by either non-stop flights or other larger populated hubs.

As I am sure you know, TWA, Eastern, Braniff II, USAir, Vanguard all tried to establish a hub or mini-hub in Kansas City. All were short-lived.

At one time, Braniff II even boasted that they offered the most nonstops to the most destinations ever served by an airline in Kansas City.

Taking aside the O and D traffic, the location of the airport, etc.... a big problem is the terminal design. While DFW was built in a similar fashion, DFW was also built to that ALL gates in a terminal could be accessed from one of several security check-points. In Kansas City, even connections between gates on the SAME airline are a hassle. Even SA)">WN, with its large operation there and connections there requires passengers to (at times) exit and re-clear security. Plus there are the terminal facilities..... food, bathrooms, etc inside security is near non-existant. Yes, I know improvements have been made over the years, but they are still lacking today....and were completely non-existant in the years past when TW, EA, BN, US, NJ all tried to hub there. Remember in the the past hub days, I don't even think there were restroom facilities inside of security. It was a total turn off.

Combine ALL of those aspects....the O & D, the security, the lack of amenities/facilities, the competition from so many other well-established hubs with larger O & D traffic and better facilities.....MCI has just never flourished despite its prime geographic location.
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FWAERJ
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:15 am

US used to have a decent presence here at FWA (and at SBN as well), dating back to the Piedmont days. At one time or another, US (or US Express) used to fly FWA-DAY, FWA-IND, and FWA-PIT. US also flew SBN-DAY/IND/PIT, and HP tried SBN-CMH twice as well (first on YV turboprops, then on RP ERJs). In fact, I remember going to SBN pre-9/11 to visit their observation deck, and I picked up a copy of US Airways Attaché magazine at their ticket counter.

Toward the end, S5 was running the show on FWA-PIT, as S5 was based in FWA and had a MX base there (now used by 9E). IIRC, there was a large and loyal following for US at FWA (and SBN). But S5's reliability (or lack thereof) at the time made FWA passengers switch airlines in droves. And as we all know, when PIT was in the early stages of dehubbing, US left both FWA and SBN. Prior to 9/11, the thought of US leaving FWA or SBN would have been laughed out of the room. Today, no airport can take any air service for granted.

Personally, I think that FWA-PHL/CLT would work great for US. Not only would it provide a much-needed East Coast hub and an ATL alternative for FWA, but Lincoln National/Lincoln Financial Group is based in PHL and has major offices in FWA and CLT. And I assume that there's a lot of traffic from Lincoln between the three cities. I don't know if US will ever return, but I said the same thing about Express (a clothing store that is a non-a.net obsession for me) returning to Glenbrook Mall here in Fort Wayne when they left a few years back. Well, Express returned to Glenbrook, so I guess if anything is possible there, anything is possible for FWA.

And oddly enough, if you go to the DL ticket counter at FWA today, you'll still see a portion of the Stephen Wolf-era US ticket counter backdrop. Surprisingly, Regional Elite hasn't repainted it "Delta Blue". Is it like that at other Midwestern stations that US abandoned?

[Edited 2011-11-13 18:19:39]
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flyguy89
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:18 am

Quoting CIDFlyer (Reply 21):
Places like MEM, CVG etc seem more artifically propped up by the airlines than STL ever was. STL being a transportation hub goes way back

Both Cincinnati and Memphis were and still are major transportation hubs. Cincinnati has long served as an important port and gateway on the Ohio River while also being an important center for the railroads. Memphis too has always been an important transportation center on the Mississippi and also has a storied airline history dating probably as far back as St. Louis. All three however have been natural transportation hubs for centuries and owe much of their development to their geographic location along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, even eclipsing Chicago in size and importance until about the late 1800's I'd say.

Quoting PI767 (Reply 24):

Combine ALL of those aspects....the O & D, the security, the lack of amenities/facilities, the competition from so many other well-established hubs with larger O & D traffic and better facilities.....MCI has just never flourished despite its prime geographic location.

One would hate to think that it's purely facilities that are dissuading additional service at an airport but after all I've read on here, this appears to be the case with MCI. I don't understand why they don't sink a couple million into renovating one of their terminals if the gate situation is such a problem. I imagine it wouldn't be difficult to reshuffle the airlines during such a project seeing as MCI has a lot of empty gate space.
 
flyby519
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:25 am

Quoting PI767 (Reply 24):

The general consensus has always been the lack of local O and D traffic, the poor security set-up, and the fact that so many cross-country flights are already better served by either non-stop flights or other larger populated hubs.

Definitely so true for the typical passengers who is traveling from the east coast to the west coast(largely populated areas of the USA)

I personally believe that the only way to make a relatively unpopluated metro area work as a super hub is to have far reaching international connections to sustain an anemic domestic connection opportunity(see DL @ DTW, MSP).

I think the best example of this in the past was TWA with STL, not a huge metro area but they certainly made it work at the time with many international destinations.

On a more contemporary example we can see EK do this with DXB. As a relative international destination DXB is tiny (compared to the likes of NRT, HKG, JFK, LHR, etc) with very little O&D traffic.
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FWAERJ
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:25 am

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 26):
I don't understand why they don't sink a couple million into renovating one of their terminals if the gate situation is such a problem.

MCI renovated all three of their terminals several years ago, with new materials, new dining/shopping, and larger, consolidated holdrooms (with restrooms). This was/is intended to be a stopgap fix, as MCI eventually wants to demolish all three terminals and replace them with a single linear-plan terminal.
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planespotting
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:34 pm

With US Airways' east coast network, it seems like they could be a profitable player at some of the smaller cities in the midwest. I mean, to get to most cities other than New York on the east coast, you have to connect in Chicago, Minneapolis or Detroit anyway, so why not get a little bit closer to your destination by connecting in Charlotte instead? And in markets like DSM or OMA that already have US Airways west service (PHX) - and I know that those DSM flights to PHX are almost always completely full - bringing in one flight per day from an existing station to an already-large hub like CLT would be a pretty minimal risk that might offer a moderate reward.

I believe that US Airways also has some kind of contractual agreement with ground handling that says if mainline metal is used, the station has to be staffed by mainline labor. Anyone know the details about this? That could also be part of the reason they don't expand more into the midwest.
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RE: Will US Ever Expand In The Midwest

Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:40 pm

Quoting planespotting (Reply 29):
I believe that US Airways also has some kind of contractual agreement with ground handling that says if mainline metal is used, the station has to be staffed by mainline labor. Anyone know the details about this? That could also be part of the reason they don't expand more into the midwest.

Not under the newish ramp contract. That almost sounds like an old America West clause.

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